Two ladies of a certain age rekindle their friendship and solve a murder in 1920 England.
Beryl Helliwell, a famed American adventuress now seeking a quieter life, finds her old school chum Edwina Davenport in need of the company, not to mention the ready cash, a lodger would bring. Beryl sweeps in to the rescue and even props up Edwina’s standing in the village by implying that her advertisement for a lodger was not prompted by need but was instead a coded message to His Majesty’s Secret Service. The rumor backfires when someone in the village feels threatened enough by this possibility to attempt to strangle Edwina in her own back garden. The only motive Edwina and Beryl can imagine for the attack is linked to the Women’s Land Army, which farmed the local estate during the war, and one of the Land Girls who went missing. Just as Beryl and Edwina begin to ask their neighbors about the past, they stumble over a local maid, Polly Watkins, dead in a field. Could Polly’s murder be linked to the old disappearance? The local constable, who disapproves of fast women, refuses to investigate, insisting that Polly’s death was an accident. So it falls to Beryl and Edwina to find the missing girl and Polly’s murderer. With great relish the pair uncover even more village scandals and bring the killer to justice.
As formulaic as its title suggests, Ellicott’s debut delivers the traditional trappings of the cozy mystery without adding any bothersome complications or emotions.